Activity: Remix a Visualization for Various Audiences

The most effective visualizations are built based on a strong definition of the target audience.  This activity tears down an existing visualization and lets participants remix it for a different audience. This increases understanding of the interests of various audiences.  The activity emphasizes that you need to target information differently for different audiences.  Participants get to practice crafting a compelling message, and gain experience presenting data in a variety of forms.

What you need:

  • an example visualization
  • a list of potential audiences
  • big paper and markers or crayons

How you do it:

Introduce your example dataset or visualization.  Talk through the data it shows, the audience it targets, and it’s goals.  Make a list of potential audiences, such as:

  • online community
  • people who disagree
  • folks who agree, but need motivation
  • policy makers
  • people within the system the data is about

Split the participants into groups, each assigned one audience to think about.  Give each a big piece of paper and some markers.  Have each group remix the visualization, creating a new one tailored for the audience they are assigned.

Wrap up by going around and have each group share their sketch.  Focus on design decisions they made based on their understanding and assumptions about their audience.

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